Parked in downtown Cincinnati about 7:15 am and what a perfect day is was to run. Little chilly but only a few clouds in the sky. Since this was my first 10K I only had a few goals set. 1) Jog the entire race, 2) A+ for the day would be finish under 1:15, A finish under 1:20, 3) Hopefully not go to the bathroom during the race. Yes I've had some issues sorting this during my long runs and yes it was a serious concern for me. I started near the front just because it was near the stairs we walked up but it was 4 lane wide road for the first .5-.75 miles. I figured I will keep pace and just get out of the way once I get past the starting line and into open road. National anthem was sung and the gun went off. I couldn't believe I was starting my first 10K race.
Holy hell people took off. I stuck with my plan on keeping pace and working myself to the side of the road out of the way. The first .15-.2 miles was downhill then flat for the next .5 miles. We started at Paul Brown Stadium (Cincy Bengals home) , by .5 miles we were passing by Great American Ballpark (Reds), around US Bank Arena, up the ramp to cross over Central Bridge that crosses over the Ohio River back into KY. Once I was on the flat past PBR I settled in to my pace because I knew I had no chance of keeping that up for 6 miles. My buddy missed the start because he thought the race started at 9 instead of 8, so he ended up just jumping in the race with me. Which was a tic odd because this was the first legit time I've ever had a running partner. I have tried GU gel before and it didn't bother me so I figured I would try GU Chomps today. Had 2 before the race and popped one at each mile marker. My heart rate was higher then normal but I figured it was due to hills and a slightly faster pace then I'm used to. First 3 miles done and I'm feeling really good.
Mile 4 starts up a small hill in Newport then you cross the Purple People Bridge. I haven't walked over a bridge since I was a kid but I also don't remember the bridges having a rise to them. lol My HR is still high but when I started to to head downhill on the bridge it really didn't lower much (using my Polar FT7 HRM). At each mile they had someone yelling out the time and since I started near the front I knew that was basically my time. At mile marker 4 I set a 4 mile PR by 5 mins. So I chalked up my HR to that. Mile 5 and mile 6 were flat with most of mile 6 running right along the Ohio River. This is my first time running down here so I couldn't help but snap photos during the race. I figured while I know I'm racing, it would be nice to look back to my first 5K, 10K, etc. I wear my phone in an armband (with Map My Run on) so all I had to do was unzip, snap the pic, and zip back up. Never slowed down, just took the pic and hoped it turned out ok.
My brother-in-law is long gone. I lost sight off him after the first turn but my buddy is still with me. At this point I told him I'm pacing myself off you so speed up a little. He has ran the Flying Pig Marathon and I know he was well faster then me. We picked up the pace for mile 6 and put just about everything I had into that last .2 miles. With this being the Koman race, there are heards of folks at the finish line. Cheerleaders, music, a Kenny G look alike announcer, plus a HUGE pink inflatable finish line. .1 of a mile left and there is 1 person 30-40 feet ahead of me. Needless to say, I passed them about 10 foot from the finish line with my buddy at my side.
There was a clock on both sides but I was giving it all I had and didn't even notice. I remembered to stop my watch just as I crossed the line. Tag cut off (plus dropped off the one I found during the race, whoever's that was your welcome!) bottle of water and found my family. Checked my watch and it said 1:12! WOW is all I can say to that. My official time was 1:12:06. A+ goal met as well as all of my other goals. Just to add to the fun, I walked the 5K as my cooldown. Yes, I was very happy to get back to my car and sit down!
HUGE thanks to my buddy Nick to run the entire race with me. He knew me when I weighed 340 lbs and understood how far I have come. Congrats to my brother-in-law for finishing in 56:29 (new PR for him) and my sister-in-laws sister at 1:09:51. This was both their first 10K's also. No matter what happened, just starting/finishing this race was a huge victory for me. When I started losing weight no one fully expected me to take it this far. In my mind, I haven't come far at all, I'm just getting started. To top off the day, I set a 4, 5, and 6 mile PR. That would have also been my fastest 5K by a few mins. Great day, great race, great cause. Can't ask for much more other then the photos. Click here for photos!